CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- Moxxee Coffee owner T.J. Baldwin has traveled to Bolivia to convince coffee growers to dry the beans differently.
He has met farmers in Rwanda, raved over their roast and brought it back to Charleston to sell in his East End coffee shop.
Baldwin -- who owns the shop along with his two brothers Jon and Jason, and friends Jon and Wendi Farmer -- wanted to open a shop where everyone felt welcome, which is why there is no wood used in the entire building. Instead, handcrafted stainless steel, copper, and concrete are apparent throughout Moxxee.
Those traits -- the traveling and attention to detail -- led Zagat Survey to name Moxxee Coffee as one of the 50 Must-Try Coffee Shops in the United States last week.
Survey authors chose one coffee shop from each state "where you can get a great cup of joe," according to Zagat.
"As far as coffee goes, they offer award-winning Cup of Excellence brews from around the world, each done pour-over style or brewed in the Clover machine," Zagat authors wrote about Charleston's coffee shop. "They also make sure the farmers get paid well for their product and take great pride in what they are doing."
Baldwin said Tuesday that the recognition is exciting, but he's happy to hear coffee drinkers enjoy the shop's brews.
"What's most rewarding is when our regulars go away and you hear them say that they miss Moxxee," Baldwin said, sitting in one of the shop's metal stools facing Lee Street. "People visit from big cities like Toronto and Chicago and say it's the best they've had and then the employees spend their own money here. It's nice."
This isn't the first time Moxxee - the name comes from an American Indian word for "black water," Baldwin said -- has been awarded for its work.
East End Main Street board members voted the coffee shop, on the corner of Lee and Morris streets, as the Business of the Year on the East End last year. Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin honored the shop's owners, said Ric Cavender, executive director of East End Main Street.
Cavender said he is proud of Moxxee Coffee and that its owners chose to be a part of the city's revitalization of the East End.